Rafael Soriano Could Accept Arbitration from Braves

When the Braves signed closer Billy Wagner and setup man Takashi Saito earlier this week they had no inclination that either of their type-A free agent closers would accept their offer of arbitration, but it appears that Rafael Soriano is at least thinking about it:

But Soriano's agent Peter Greenberg told ESPN.com that his client is still thinking about the possibility of accepting the offer before Monday's 11:59 p.m. ET deadline.

"It's going to go down to the wire," Greenberg told the website. "It's definitely going to be a last-minute decision for us."[...]

"We know there's a lot of interest in Rafael, but we still don't have a sense yet whether [salary] arbitration or going on the free market is in his best interests," Greenberg told ESPN.com.

Soriano would probably make around $8 million in arbitration. If he accepts, I say fine. Yes, we would lose two draft picks, but it may enable us to pick up a more major league-ready piece by trading Soriano (or Saito, if we choose). A closer or setup man of his caliber would likely be worth a good bat in return, perhaps in some circles he may be easier to trade than Derek Lowe, and may net a similar return.

I don't see Soriano accepting arbitration as a bad thing, as I think it gives Atlanta more options. Of course it means they have to trade a couple of people, but Soriano, at least, is a very tradeable commodity. Odd are, though, Soriano does not accept arbitration and becomes a free agent.

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